The Planning Process – A Guide

The following is a simple guide to the planning process, it is not intended to answer or explain planning policies or the planning decisions.

Further information can be obtained from the Cheshire West & Chester Planning Department who can be contacted by email at

Telephone: 0300 123 7 027



All planning applications are submitted to CW&C Planning department whether they are a small house extension to a large development.



Each planning application will be given a reference number, the first two numbers reflect the year in which the application was submitted, the following numbers reflect the number of the application and are give in order applications are received, the final letters refer to the type of application, e.g. 11/ 0001/FUL

The application is also allocated to a planning officer who will investigate the application.

CW&C seek to deal with all applications within their statutory timescales

Minor application and other (including Householder)– 8 weeks

Major applications – 13 weeks

Applications including Environmental Impact Assessment – 16 weeks



Internal and external consultations take place – the consultation period then lasts 3 weeks.

Who is consulted?

  • A wide number of statutory and non-statutory authorities or organisations are consulted depending on the application these can include: Environment Agency, Police Authority, Sewage/water undertakers e.g. Welsh Water, English Heritage.
  • Departments within CW&C are also consulted including the Highways Department, Biodiversity Dept/Officer, Conservation Officer and Environmental Health.
  • Neighbouring residents are notified of applications.
  • Parish Councils.


It should be noted any member of the public can comment on any planning application whether they have been directly consulted or not.

All applications can be viewed and commented on on-line at

It is also now possible to register on the on-line planning system and track applications in a set area by logging on.



Making Observations

Observations made on any planning application must be based on planning grounds and policy. ‘Planning Policy’ is made up of both national and local policies, currently all planning applications in Huntington are considered under the Chester District Local Plan, for more detailed information visit

In making a decision planning officers also take into account other ‘Material Factors’ however the weight or importance these are given is decided by the planning authority.


Below is a list of material and non-material factors.

Visit: ‘Guidance & Advice’ for more information at



Visual Impact The applicant
Privacy/Overbearing Land ownership
Daylight/Sunlight Private rights (e.g. access)
Noise, smell etc Restrictive covenants
Access/Traffic Property value
Health and Safety Competition
Ecology Loss of View
Crime including fear of crime “better” site or “better uses”
Economic impact Change from a previous scheme
Planning History What will they do next
Related decisions  
Cumulative impact (potentially)  
Personal Factors (very rarely)  

Huntington Parish Council & Planning

Huntington Parish Council is notified of all planning applications within its boundaries. All Parish councillors are notified of the planning applications. Applications are returned ‘Judge on Merits’ unless councillors wish to make more detailed observations which are confirmed at the next Parish Council meeting.

The majority of applications received by Huntington Parish Council are for small extensions to existing properties.

The Parish Council then submits its observations to CW&C planning department.


NB – The parish Council’s observations carry no more weight in the planning process than observations made by any individual. It should be noted that Parish Council’s are not statutory consultees in the planning process but do have to right to be notified of applications under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.



STEP 4 (optional)


The majority of all planning applications are decided under what is called ‘delegated powers’ meaning they are decided by planning officers.

However a planning application can be ‘called-in’ by the local CW&C councillor to be decided by councillors on the planning committee which meets monthly. The reasons for this are down to the individual councillor but in general terms there should be a clear need for the application to be debated allowing all parties to take part in the debate, the applicant, supporters, objectors and Parish Council.

For more information about public speaking at the planning Committee visit

The Planning Committee considers the following applications:-

  • Applications ‘called in’ by councillors but not contrary to the development Plan policy;
  • Applications made on behalf of members or their immediate families, or by senior officers (third tier or above);
  • Applications made by officers who are directly involved in making decisions on planning applications, or their immediate families;
  • Applications made by (or on behalf of) the council, except those of a minor or routine nature, as long as they are to be determined in accordance with the adopted policies of the council;
  • Any other applications that raise important issues which the Director or Head of Service considers should be determined by a planning Committee.

The agendas for these meetings are available on the CW&C website at


The Strategic Planning Committee considers the following applications:-

  • Large scale major development proposals;
  • Smaller scale major applications contrary to Development Plan Policy;
  • Planning applications for major minerals (mining/quarrying) development;
  • Planning applications for waste disposal development;
  • Applications referred from Planning Committee.


The agendas for these meetings are available on the CW&C website at



At the end of this process a planning decision notice is issued to the applicant, if it is for refusal of the application it will also included details of the appeal process.

Approval notices will include a list of conditions which have to be adhered to.

STEP 6 (optional)


If the planning application is refused the applicant can take the application to appeal to be considered by the planning inspectorate.

Information about this service is available at:


Some development is allowed under permitted development rules the guidelines for which are available at



Planning Enforcement


Although development without planning permission is not a criminal offence the local authority, CW&C, must investigate all complaints received about breaches of planning control, which fall into two categories:-

  1. Carrying out development without the required planning permission.
  2. Failing to comply with conditions or limitations subject of the planning permission which has been granted.

For more information visit:


Other Useful Websites:-

  • Campaign to Protect Rural England – Planning Help

  • Government Planning Portal

  • Cheshire West & ChesterPlanning & Building Consultancy





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